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CapeDoc

Quality rather than Quantity

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Having read a little of the international (thereby, mostly American) forums it appears that with time the "quality" of newly placed caches may deteriorate. There seems to be a problem of LPMs (lamp post micros) being placed just about anywhere, micos at fast food drive-throughs, caches that only have personal meaning to the cache owner and caches at arbitrary lay-by's (attached to the guard rails) to name a few. Many cachers seem to find these offensive. (To stick my neck out, so do I).

Fortunately I have experienced a wonderful caching ethos in SA with really well thought out caches in great places, or placed for good reasons.

Should we, or can we, protect this ethos as the sport grows? Do we try to learn from more "advanced" geocaching nations mistakes, or do we evolve in a similar way?

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When hunting for a cache, afterward I always ask myself a couple of questions.

For the simple reason to "rate" the cache and to apply it to any new caches I place.

 

The questios are:

Cache Listing - Interesting info/history provided as part of the listing/name about the cache.

Discovery - Getting to the cache was enjoyable (Nice riddle, nice hike, interesting multi-stages)

Location - Scenic or Interesting final cache location

Container - Owner put effort into cache container (Nice container, clever hide), interesting content, contents dry.

Sentimental value - Does the cache bring you back to something/somewhere/some-one close to heart or of which you are fond of.

Experience - Whilst finding or hunting for the cache did something interesting/funny or peculiar happen.

 

All that cachers should do is put a little bit of thought into placing a cache.

 

My caching infancy was in an area with lots of great quality caches! Hopefully I/we can learn from other good quality caches and try to even better them!

 

my 2cents...

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When hunting for a cache, afterward I always ask myself a couple of questions.

For the simple reason to "rate" the cache and to apply it to any new caches I place.

We have a simple "rule of thumb" for determining the quality of the cache which we use when researching an area that we're going to cache in, and to "rate" our own caches - it's the average length of finders logs. If your caches gets "Found it - thanks" or "TNLNSL", then you know that you haven't left the finders wildly excited. But if finders generally write a 3 or 4 line log (or longer), then you know it's good one.... :P

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When hunting for a cache, afterward I always ask myself a couple of questions.

For the simple reason to "rate" the cache and to apply it to any new caches I place.

We have a simple "rule of thumb" for determining the quality of the cache which we use when researching an area that we're going to cache in, and to "rate" our own caches - it's the average length of finders logs. If your caches gets "Found it - thanks" or "TNLNSL", then you know that you haven't left the finders wildly excited. But if finders generally write a 3 or 4 line log (or longer), then you know it's good one.... :P

Nice rule of thumb

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I am really short and while I love a well hidden micro with great clues or in order to get clues - I really dislike it when people lob a micro at the top of a lamp post or high fence and dont tell the person its up high.

 

Also :laughing: as I said on another thread the quality of 'large caches' leads alot to be desired sometimes (not all the time) If its going to leak its rubbish! and putting it in a bag isnt really a good idea that just gets all moist moldy and yuk :laughing:

 

I totally believe there is a place for a normal trad that you dont have to pick a lock or break some kind of secret code just something to go find that takes me to a super place i wouldnt of gone to before but I'm slowly starting to realise that people all have a differant view on cache placements and you cant please everyone!

 

Someone told me this weekend if they dont like the cache they dont log it - well I think thats probably the right way to do it.

 

<end of ran/>

 

:P I have to say the area I'm in for the most part I'm very lucky in that we have alot of super caches and its been awesome starting this new hobbie.

 

PS I cant wait to come home on holiday and do caches in SA ! :laughing:

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Immediately after posting this thread I went to find a new cache. As I arrived I thought "I've been here before". The new cache had been placed by a Newbie +/- 200m from an existing cache. In my opinion it added nothing to the existing cache. (No new "angle" on the general location).

Is such a cache what we want? Is this not why we should draw up local, South African Guidelines for cache placement? To assist all to hide quality caches.

I stress 'guidelines' not 'rules'

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200m is more than the GC minimum requirement of 160m direct line, however the newly placed cache owner is a Newbie and I think credit should be given. I believe the Reviewers would let this one and others through as GC have these standard International rules, so nothing was out of the norm, just a Newbie going about His/Her first cache, like we all did I think,myself included.

 

A 'guideline' is an idea but common sense when placing would be better. :D

Edited by Red Chilli

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Immediately after posting this thread I went to find a new cache. As I arrived I thought "I've been here before". The new cache had been placed by a Newbie +/- 200m from an existing cache. In my opinion it added nothing to the existing cache. (No new "angle" on the general location).

Is such a cache what we want? Is this not why we should draw up local, South African Guidelines for cache placement? To assist all to hide quality caches.

I stress 'guidelines' not 'rules'

 

I'm dead against more guidelines. I feel for newbies. There's nothing like brimming with exitement now that you have found a new hobby that looks all free and easy on the outside and as you go along you discover that the community is quite stuffy and particular. Cache quality will gravitate to that which the participants want.

 

There was a recent thread elsewhere debating whether the game has deteriorated. The whole thread is quite interesting and I cannot quite get to the post I had in mind but here was a post that motivates that there are just as many quality caches out there (if not more).

 

Edited to add:

 

I did notice the new cache being quite close to an existing one (that I only did the other day). However - it is probably on quite a well known trail visited by locals, and for children especially it is probably nice to go on a shorter easy walk and visit two caches at the same time.

Edited by the pooks

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Someone told me this weekend if they dont like the cache they dont log it - well I think thats probably the right way to do it.

 

<PS I cant wait to come home on holiday and do caches in SA ! :D

 

I think that one should log the cache regardless and add to the log what they did or did not like about the cache. It makes future finders aware of what they are really going to find and may eliminate the same dissappointments that you may have had. On the other hand also log what you did like, that will also inspire others!

 

Come to SA Geo.Kitten, you'll enjoy our chaches here too.

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Quality and safety is the important factors for me. (I regret if I do have some lame caches out there...)

 

Reading a log response from one of my caches: "Brilliant cache. Took Belgian visitor with and was very impressed with the Dassies and the view from the top - enjoyed the easy walk." makes me all fuzzy inside. :D

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Immediately after posting this thread I went to find a new cache. As I arrived I thought "I've been here before". The new cache had been placed by a Newbie +/- 200m from an existing cache. In my opinion it added nothing to the existing cache. (No new "angle" on the general location).

Is such a cache what we want? Is this not why we should draw up local, South African Guidelines for cache placement? To assist all to hide quality caches.

I stress 'guidelines' not 'rules'

 

I'm dead against more guidelines. I feel for newbies. There's nothing like brimming with exitement now that you have found a new hobby that looks all free and easy on the outside and as you go along you discover that the community is quite stuffy and particular. Cache quality will gravitate to that which the participants want.

 

There was a recent thread elsewhere debating whether the game has deteriorated. The whole thread is quite interesting and I cannot quite get to the post I had in mind but here was a post that motivates that there are just as many quality caches out there (if not more).

 

Edited to add:

 

I did notice the new cache being quite close to an existing one (that I only did the other day). However - it is probably on quite a well known trail visited by locals, and for children especially it is probably nice to go on a shorter easy walk and visit two caches at the same time.

I agree with not wanting to stifle Newbies in placing caches. I just thought that we could have a pinned set of "ideas" on the forums so that we dint end up with a plethora of caches that are placed without thought. I feel people should be able to place a cache where ever the like (within the geocaching, proper guidelines) and if they don't want to take heed to the "ideas" that too would be OK.

From the other forums and from experience these ideas/guidelines/tips could be:

- read this first (as it says you should).

- place caches that add interest to others in the area

- place regulars if possible (but consider this)

- place caches in ares you would like to visit

- be creative

- don't be shy to teach us all something

- place caches that you can maintain

- placing caches in plastic bags may not be a good idea ( I am learning this for some of mine)

- roadside micros may not be a great idea (Americans call these "Micro spew")

- Are you sure you want to place a cache next to a fast food place?

- place cache that will stay naturally dry (if you can)

- additional waypoints like "Parking" are useful as they can be sent to a GPS (I didn't know that when I started placing caches)

- Ignore these tips if you want to (don't expect great logs....that's something that I have learnt from my "weaker" caches)

....................

 

I am sure you have others....I would love to read your suggestions so that I can place "better" caches. Quality caches. Naturally we will all have our own opinion on "quality". I would love criticism of my list above...I am open to learning.

 

If then someone places a cache that you want to criticize you could add a link to the list of (lets call them) "tips".

 

Happy too if this is a bad idea!

Edited by CapeDoc

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A question to geo-kitten. Do you have any exposure to Letterboxing in the UK? I think the idea of adding a memento like a rubber stamped imprint to one's "Cache memories book" will add to the experience. Unfortunately is does not attract any following here in RSA.

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A question to geo-kitten. Do you have any exposure to Letterboxing in the UK? I think the idea of adding a memento like a rubber stamped imprint to one's "Cache memories book" will add to the experience. Unfortunately is does not attract any following here in RSA.

 

I've only done the one in Regency park but it was a great experiance GCR57T the cache itself is massive and has been put out by the head gardener as far as I know. So its a really cheaky hide you kinda wonder the whole time why its not been muggled :D I've even gone back just to re-visit it and swap a tb/coin or two :D

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That "Secret Cache" is on my watchlist - fantastic logs. Maybe I will get to do it one day, I wish. :D

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Having read a little of the international (thereby, mostly American) forums it appears that with time the "quality" of newly placed caches may deteriorate. There seems to be a problem of LPMs (lamp post micros) being placed just about anywhere, micos at fast food drive-throughs, caches that only have personal meaning to the cache owner and caches at arbitrary lay-by's (attached to the guard rails) to name a few. Many cachers seem to find these offensive. (To stick my neck out, so do I).

Fortunately I have experienced a wonderful caching ethos in SA with really well thought out caches in great places, or placed for good reasons.

Should we, or can we, protect this ethos as the sport grows? Do we try to learn from more "advanced" geocaching nations mistakes, or do we evolve in a similar way?

 

Easy drive-bys are part of the ethos of caching. They're part of the vast range of different ways that different people can partake in the sport and we should celebrate that diversity instead of trying to stifle it.

 

We went on a journey to deliver a puppy yesterday and surprise, surprise our 2 year old daughter wanted to look for boxes. We found one micro at a service area and DNF a second. On the way home we had a walk planned with a few caches along the way, we found the first micro with the co-ordinates to a second larger cache in it and then....... our GPS failed. We went for a walk anyway and along the way I recognised the site of a cache from the description OI'd read the night before and we found................. another micro!

 

Now you may expect that I'd complain about finding all those horrible micro's when I know we walked past at least 4 larger containers. BUT we had a fantastic day, even our 2 year old loved the "tiny baby boxes" all she asked was to hold each one when we found it and she still came home happily chattering about finding "boxes in the woods". She was happy and we proved that even for a 2 year old it's not just about swag, she even left a little pin badge in one of the micros for the next finder. I'd thought that nanos would be poor for a youngster but I think I was wrong, I bet she'll love them.

 

Maybe it's only the adults that have high expectations :)

 

If you must have national guidelines on quality, I'd suggest you have guidelines on the quality of the cache descriptions and classifications so that everyone is aware of the style and type of each cache whilst allowing caching to develop along the diverse lines that all participants (even newcomers) want to enjoy.

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<snip>

From the other forums and from experience these ideas/guidelines/tips could be:

- read this first (as it says you should).

<snip>

Which links to..................

<snip>

[*]And for hiding your first cache... Geocaching.com Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines

<snip>

The Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines is the key to greasing your cache listings through the review process.

Sadly, many cache submissions from (not only) inexperienced hiders don't meet the guidelines, and either need substantial panelbeating, or never get published. :)

If in doubt, feel free to contact me with your cache idea for an opinion.

My phone number is also available on request if you want to discuss it with me.

 

I'm busy putting together some local guidelines and guideline interpretations for Africa (mainly South Africa), but they still need a lot of work.

As soon as they're ready, I'll put them online. :D

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A question to geo-kitten. Do you have any exposure to Letterboxing in the UK? I think the idea of adding a memento like a rubber stamped imprint to one's "Cache memories book" will add to the experience. Unfortunately is does not attract any following here in RSA.

 

I have had one exposure to letterboxing, and i say Booo, down with letterboxing!

I located the cache, signed the log, but just because I dont have a little rubber stamp in my name, I was not allowed to log the cache, and i surely am not going to have one made up just to log one cache.

letterboxing sounds like geocaching for snoots who don't want to let everyone play their game :laughing:

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A question to geo-kitten. Do you have any exposure to Letterboxing in the UK? I think the idea of adding a memento like a rubber stamped imprint to one's "Cache memories book" will add to the experience. Unfortunately is does not attract any following here in RSA.

 

I have had one exposure to letterboxing, and i say Booo, down with letterboxing!

I located the cache, signed the log, but just because I dont have a little rubber stamp in my name, I was not allowed to log the cache, and i surely am not going to have one made up just to log one cache.

letterboxing sounds like geocaching for snoots who don't want to let everyone play their game :laughing:

 

That must of been something that person who owned the cache personaly decided cause that isnt the case with all of them as far as I know - because I have only done one and can guarantee you I certainly dont have a stamp.

Edited by Geo.Kitten

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Eish, a little rubber stamp would set you back ZAR5,00 - a fraction of an Euro. You may even have used the Euro coin as a unique stamp. It is the same with Geocaching, no signature in logbook = no smiley.

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Eish, a little rubber stamp would set you back ZAR5,00 - a fraction of an Euro. You may even have used the Euro coin as a unique stamp. It is the same with Geocaching, no signature in logbook = no smiley.

 

not necessarily true about the signature in book.

I have on occassion seen a cache and decided not to open it and sign the book, but still log it.

One that springs to mind was one in church grounds, with no mention made as to whether church had given permission. I felt highly suspicious looking for the cache, and decided i did not want to prolong the risk of being caught doing something i shouldnt be doing, so did not want to bother opening cache. If the page said cache was approved, i would have had no problems.

 

Also some caches get rusted shut, frozen shut, logbook cant be removed from micros, so those get no logs either

 

of course R5 is not the issue, but making a stamp up for 1 cache is not worth it to me - it will just become geolitter in my bedroom :)

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Eish, a little rubber stamp would set you back ZAR5,00

The days are long gone that you pay R5.00 for a custom stamp. The rubber alone for a custom cut stamp 38 x 14mm will set you back R48.95! If you want a fancy mobile self inking printy stamp the same size it will be a total of R 170.00!

Hardly cheap! I have one I use when I go caching. I'm lucky to have a wife in the stamp business! :)

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Got my stamps from Craft & Hobby shop, 80x60 = Rhino head = R21,90. Probably old stock. :D

Edited by LeonW

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I think we getting a bit "off topic" here but........

Got my stamps from Craft & Hobby shop, 80x60 = Rhino head = R21,90. Probably old stock

Don’t think it is old stock. A "standard" stamp that has a wood holder and that needs a pad will only cost what you have quoted. You are perfectly correct.

A "custom" designed stamp (with a logo you want on it) that is self inking cost what I said it will. The nice thing about self inking is that you don’t need a pad; it is relatively compact and no ink everywhere!

mobile%20marker%201.jpg

I think I should place a QUALITY letterbox hybrid soon! :anicute::D

Edited by geocacher_coza

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Would love that hybrid. :anicute:

 

A very smart stamp you have there, we "Calligraphers" are sure to envy such an item. :D

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The point I was trying to make regardless of the stamp cost is not all letterbox caches are like that - I'd love to see the cache page for the one you did that said you needed one :D

 

K

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Hmmm, well my greatest bother is the caches under bushes and rocks... in particular the bush thing when cacher after cacher stepps on the finer growth until there's a "bay" in the bush big enough to pitch a tent... caches like that we experienced around Knysna just last week e.g. Brenton Blue GC17CCB or Gold Diggers Treasure Chest GCRR96 were hints like "Look hard under the rocks" made us turn a 100 year old mining entrance upside down... were as the real site was your typical "geocacher rock pile" - so much for a good satelite tight forest canopy and some misleading hints... but an adventure never the less :D

 

The other is the under rocks... when there's a 5-10 m2 area of rocks dumped by a farmer to choose from... and when you decifer the hints - then usually a 2 or 3 liner - it tells you which off-ramp to take or an alternative route to the cache site, meanwhile your GPS is telling you you are dead on target, right on top with the usual 4-5m inaccurancy... Hints are (in my mind) the last option, the last chance after you've searched for 10-20min with out success so you make your 100-200km ride home at least with a FIND and not a sad DNF.

 

On the positive side my favorite caches are the historical ones (the forts, monuments, old bridges, boer war grave stones, etc of which we have luckly plenty right in our back yard - but undiscovered until we geocache :lol:

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Hints are (in my mind) the last option, the last chance after you've searched for 10-20min with out success so you make your 100-200km ride home at least with a FIND and not a sad DNF.

I agree withi this. If I place a cache in a remote area, or after a long hike, I give a very detailed clue to make sure you dont have a DNF.

 

So add that to the list of "Tips":

Give detailed clue if it takes a lot of work to find the cache.

 

If the cache is accesable (Eg "mouse hunt" by Vespax) and you want it to be really difficult, by all means forgo the clue.

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